Tellicherry Fort

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Thalassery fort
Thalassery fort.JPG
Location Thalassery, Kerala, India
Coordinates 11°44′54″N 75°29′10″E / 11.748292°N 75.486134°E / 11.748292; 75.486134
Type Cultural
State Party  India
Tellicherry Fort is located in Kerala
Tellicherry Fort
Location in Kerala, India

Tellicherry Fort is in Thalassery (Tellicherry) a town in Kannur District of Kerala state in south India. Tellicherry was one of the most important European trading centers of Kerala. The Fort lies on the group of low wooden hill running down to sea and protected by natural waters. It has been the main opening for the rich spices, hill products and timber of the vast inter-land.

The French came first to Tellicherry for trading, they got a strong grip at Mahé, Puducherry, 5 km south of Tellicherry town. Towards end of the 17th century the British opened a factory north of Tellicherry. Later they obtained a site from Vadakkelamkur, the de facto ruler of Kolathunad and established a factory at Tellicherry in 1708. But the Udayamangalam branch of Kolathiri family and Korangoth Nair, the local chieftain resented this action and they attacked and caused serious damage to English property. In order to safe guard their trade activities with the support of the Kolathiri Raja they build a fort around the out laying hills of Tellicherry. The French occupation of Mahé, Puducherry in 1725 compelled the British Company to sthrengthen the fortification to establish a stronghold on the Malabar Coast. In 1736, the British took the possession of Dharmadam Island. The British sustained strong military establishment at Tellicherry, from 1776 to 1784.

In 1781 Hyder Ali, ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore, was unsuccessful in capturing the Fort in his campaign to control Malabar. His successor, Tipu Sultan, was forced to cede Malabar District to the British in 1792, at the conclusion of the Third Anglo-Maratha War.

The Tellicherry fort over looking the sea, raises to height of 10m and it is oblong on pian. It was built out of latarite blocks with high round holed walls and strong flanking basetions. The small redoubts on most of the out playing hills have long since disappeared, but Tellicherry fort is in fair state of preservation. The square fort, with its massive walls, strong flanking bastions, secret tunnels to the sea and intricately carved huge doors, is an imposing structure. A light house marks the site of an old redoubt. The fort was once the nucleus of Thalassery's development. Quite interestingly, Tellicherry was also famous for the cricket match played between the Europeans and local teams in the town near the seashore, which used to attract enormous crowds during those days. This is a centrally protected monument under the control of Archaeological Survey of India since 1921.

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Coordinates: 11°44′54″N 75°29′10″E / 11.748292°N 75.486134°E / 11.748292; 75.486134